Check Out My Interview On “Yes and Yes Blog”

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersI  thought I would share my recent interview that appeared last week on the Yes and Yes Blog. The Yes and Yes Blog is produced by Sarah Von Bargen. I met Sarah when she was a speaker at the PHLbloggers Blog Connect Conference in Philadelphia in May 2018.

Sarah has been blogging since 2008. She says, “Yes and Yes grew out of my desire to read a very specific type of blog that – at the time – didn’t exist. I liked lifestyle blogs (who doesn’t?) but I wanted something with a tiny bit more depth. Interesting interviews in addition to the recipes posts; thought-provoking personal essays and ‘what to wear for a weekend away’ posts.”

Today, 12,000+ daily readers view her blog and she has been featured in places like Lifehacker, Problogger, Glamour, and Forbes.com among others. She also created an ecourse about money + happiness and another one about changing our habits. Plus she created an app, three calendars, and signed with a literary agent!

Sharing My Life Story
Sarah interviewed me about my reinvention after losing my spouse, selling my house and emptying out my nest. My interview is entitled, “True Story: I Reinvented Myself at 50” and includes answers to Qs about my life pre-50 and post-50 and the different changes I”ve made during the last 10 years.

Defining Your Success
Sarah was the keynote speaker at the PHLBloggers Blog Connect Conference. Her talk about “Defining Your Success” was inspiring. She said that “if you can’t define success, you won’t know when you get there.” She encouraged attendees to “create your own definition of success” rather than comparing your life to others. She said that success is not necessarily about how many social media followers you have or how much money you have in the bank. Continue reading

Wellness Travel: My Relaxing Visit To Le Monastère Des Augustines

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness“If you like “wellness travel,” you’ll want to book a personal or girls’ getaway to Le Monastère Des Augustines, located in the historic wings of the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec monastery.  I had an opportunity to visit this 17th century cloister during the Women In Travel Summit (WITS18) in Quebec City in early May.

Women of Head and Heart
The monastery, which offers retreat packages and holistic health programs, follows in the heritage of the Augustinian Sisters who devoted themselves to caring for the body and soul. The Sisters founded the first hospital in Quebec City.

Le Monastère Des Augustines; wellness travel

Le Monastère Des Augustines is all about wellness for the body and soul.

Tourisme Manager Marie-Eve Perron told us about the Augustine Sisters as we toured the monastery’s museum. “The Augustine Sisters arrived in 1639. This was their home. They cared for the sick and were always dedicated to healing,” said Marie-Eve. “While there were 250 sisters in 1950, today there are only 10 to 12 sisters here. They gave all their artifacts to Quebec City and many volunteers helped curate the materials for display,”

Le Monastère Des Augustines; wellness travel

The Augustine Sisters were dedicated to healing.

Le Monastère Des Augustines; wellness travel

The Museum includes artifacts from the old apothecary.

A Sacred Place To Stay
In the back of the restored building is the lodging, where the focus is on enjoying peace and quiet. The stairway leading up to the rooms dates back to 1757. There are  just 64 rooms – half are authentic cells where the sisters lived. The furniture is from the 19th century – it’s like staying in a museum. There are single beds in the rooms and bathrooms are shared. The rooms are very reasonably priced from $84 – $104 per person double occupancy. Continue reading

A Feel-Good Film Giveaway For “Finding Your Feet”

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer women

Last evening, I watched a screener of the romantic comedy Finding Your Feet. I agree with OK! Magazine when they say it’s “The Feel-Good Film OF THE YEAR!” It was just what I needed after a long day in New York City. I grabbed a cup of chamomile tea and enjoyed this British chick-flick.

Finding Your FeetThe film is about a post 50, likely post 60 or 70 female named Sandra, formerly “Lady Abbott,” who gets a new lease on life – and love – after she discovers her husband Mike is having an affair with her best friend.

Since it’s Independence Day this week and Sandra finds her independence after 40 years of marriage, I thought it would be a great time to host a giveaway for Finding Your Feet. Special thanks to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment for providing the DVD. (Note: Be sure to read below and enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for the DVD. Open to USA residents only.)

Finding Your Feet

Dancing brings Sandra a new lease on life.

Continue reading

Enjoy “The Great Alone” and Enter A Giveaway

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer women

What are you reading this summer?

If you haven’t read The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, then I’m here to convince you to add it to your reading list. In fact, I’m such a big fan of Kristin Hannah that I’m partnering with St. Martin’s Press to give away a copy of her latest novel and prize package.* (Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this post or leave a comment to enter.)

The Great Alone; Kristin Hannah

“The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah is a New York Times bestseller.

A Gripping Novel With Pioneering Spirit
Set in the wilderness of Alaska during the 1970s, The Great Alone tells the story of a family in crisis, a family desperate for a new beginning, and a family with a pioneering spirit. As I read this gripping novel, at times I felt like I was struggling for survival along with the Albright family — Ernt, a Vietnam vet with PTSD; his wife Cora, who loves her husband despite his abusive behavior and illness; and their coming of age daughter, Leni, who is 13 years old when we meet her. There’s also Matthew, Leni’s love interest; Large Marge, Mad Earl, and other locals who support the family. Continue reading

Popular Places To Dine On The Delicacies of Old Québec City

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50Are you ready for a culinary treat? I’m going to share details about the delicacies of Old Québec City. For those who are foodies, you’ll be glad to know that in 2015 Condé Nast Traveler ranked Québec City among the top 20 world’s best food cities.

Luxury Dining At Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
If you haven’t read my previous post about my visit to Québec City you can find it here. I was in this charming Canadian province last month to attend the 2018 Women In Travel Summit, also known as WITS18.

Champlain Restaurant; Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac

The Champlain Restaurant has beautiful views of the St. Lawrence River.

The conference was held at the luxurious Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, the most iconic hotel in the world. Le Château Frontenac has its own collection of noteworthy restaurants, including the elegant Champlain Restaurant with its modern cuisine; The 1608 Wine and Cheese Bar with an incredible selection of cheeses; Bistro Le Sam for a casual lunch and dinner; and Place Dufferin featuring sumptuous breakfast buffets and a la carte menus with seasonal ingredients. All offer exceptional views of the St. Lawrence River –  one of the most prized features of Le Château. (Note: If you cannot view the video below click here.)

A Food Tour Of Old Québec City
I had a chance to discover the delicacies of Old Québec City during a  WITS18 excursion with Tours Voir Quebec Food Tour. The 2.5 hour walking tour took us to popular shops and restaurants where we sampled traditional and local specialties.

Tournebroche Restaurant; Old Quebec City; Quebec delicacies

Tournebroche Restaurant is known for its honey.

Our guide Robert gave us a history lesson as we strolled. “Québec is a native word and means where the river gets narrow. Canada means small village,” said Robert. Continue reading

Fashionistas Will Love “The Gospel According To André”

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer women

When I was in college I dreamed about having a career in fashion. I loved clothes, fabrics, sewing, and reading the fashion magazines. The September issue of Vogue was like my fashion bible each fall.

Like other young women in their 20s, I went to New York City after graduation in 1979, lived the single life in the city for several years, working as an editor during the day and going out with friends on weekend nights. While my fantasies of being a famous designer never materialized, I remained faithful to the world of beauty and style. In fact, I just renewed my Vogue subscription for the next two years. Once a fashionista, always a fashionista.

fashionista

After college graduation I moved to NYC and dreamed of becoming a famous fashion designer. I designed a baby quilt for a fabric company.

A Legendary Fixture In The World of Fashion
That’s why, even though I’m a yoga instructor now and wear leggings most days, I so enjoyed previewing The Gospel According To André, the new documentary about the legendary and flamboyant fashion writer André Leon Talley. As the press release says: The Gospel According to André takes viewers on an emotional journey from André’s roots growing up in the segregated Jim Crow South to become one of the most influential tastemakers and fashion curators of our times.”

The Gospel According To Andre

The Gospel According To Andre is an inspiring and uplifting documentary. (Image courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.)

The film showcases André’s childhood growing up with his grandmother and the influence that the Black Church had on his youth. From his upbringing in Durham, North Carolina, where he first found Vogue in his public library, the award-winning director Kim Novak takes you to Brown University in Rhode Island, where André got his masters in French literature, met artsy friends at the Rhode Island Institute of Design (RISD), and where he gained the freedom and liberation that propelled him into his eventual career. Continue reading

My First Visit To Canada’s Charming Québec City

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50In early May, I visited Québec City. It was my first visit to Canada’s very charming and mostly French-speaking Québec province. I was there to attend the 2018 Women In Travel Summit, also known as WITS18. WITS is one of the world’s top events for women travel influencers to connect and build sisterhood and network with others in the travel industry.

It was fun to be in the company of 400+ females of all ages who love to travel. It was great to meet and greet fellow boomer travel bloggers face-to-face, especially those I only previously met virtually in our Facebook Group. It was amazing to stay at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, the most iconic hotel in the world, and to explore the history, culture, and food of the oldest city in North America.

Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac

It was fun to stay in a Québec landmark like the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac.

A City With Many Accolades
With so much to see and do in Québec City, coupled with the French language and European ambiance, it was a perfect spot to grab a few days away without a long flight abroad. Plus the exchange rate with the Canadian dollar is really good right now, almost a 20 percent discount!

Quebec; Samvel de Champlain, founder of Quebec

Samvel de Champlain founded Québec in 1608.

Québec City is a town with many accolades. In 2016, Leading Culture Destinations Traveller’s Awards honored Québec City with the Culture City of the Year Award which recognizes the most stimulating and imaginative cities for the cultural nomad to visit. The other nominees were Lyon (France) and Los Angeles (USA). Ooh, ooh, ooh, I’ll be heading to Lyon in a few weeks with my BFF L for our 60th celebration. Will tell you all about it when I return. Continue reading

My Viking Journey: A Grand Finale In My Favorite City of Rome

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50My Viking journey on the luxurious Viking Star ocean liner to the Cities of Antiquity & The Holy Land, was about to come to an end. My boyfriend L and I were traveling courtesy of Viking Cruises.* Our last stop was Civitavecchia, the port of Rome. We would spend our final day touring my favorite Italian city. L had never been to Rome. I was so excited to share the famous landmarks, piazzas, and most of all the pizza.

“I can’t wait for you to see the spectacular sites in Rome,” I told L as we prepared for our 10 hour excursion. “I know you will be exhausted after walking around town but you can rest on our plane ride home tomorrow.”

Rome; Colosseum

I was glad to show Rome to my boyfriend L, a first-time visitor.

The Large Port of Civitavecchia
Ciao everyone,” said our guide Monica. “We are in Civitavecchia, a port built more than 1000 years ago. It takes about 90 minutes to get to Rome.” On our way, Monica provided a history lesson.

Civitecchia, Rome

Arriving at our last port in Italy.

Civitavecchia is a large city for Italy. It means the ‘old city.’ During World War II it was bombed to ruins, ” said Monica. We approached the 255 miles long Tiber River, which divides Rome into two halves and flows out into the Mediterranean Sea. We drove by the countryside lush with olive trees and vineyards. Tuscany is only an hour from the port. Continue reading

It’s Bladder Cancer Awareness Month: Time To Share My Story

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersMay is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month. It’s time to share my personal story. Bladder cancer is the sixth most common cancer (and 11th most common for women) – a cancer I never knew existed until I was told six months ago that “you have bladder cancer.” Not something I wanted to hear on the eve of my 60th birthday.

You Have Bladder Cancer
I asked my urologist Dr. F three times if he really said the “C” word. Mind you, I had never seen  a urologist before.

“Did you say cancer?” I asked Dr. F after my surgery to remove a tumor from my bladder. “Yes, it looks like cancer,” said Dr. F.

Bladder Cancer; Bladder Cancer Awareness Month

Orange ribbons are the symbol of bladder cancer. Photo courtesy of BCAN.org.

Why me? Men are more likely to develop bladder cancer than women. I am not a smoker and during my full-time career I wasn’t in an environment where I was exposed to certain harmful substances — two of the risk factors. According to BladderCancer.net, people who are older are at a higher risk for developing bladder cancer—around 90% of people diagnosed with it are over the age of 55. I’m over 50, guess that’s me! “You live in New Jersey. It’s the chemical capital of the U.S,.” said my friend L. Ugh, that’s right!  

Bladder Cancer; Bladder Cancer Awareness Month

More men are diagnosed with bladder cancer than women. Stats from BCAN.org.

“You mean it’s cancer?” I asked Dr. F again. “Yes, we have to wait for the biopsy report to determine next steps.” Those were the longest two weeks ever, especially since one of the weeks I had a catheter attached to my bladder to facilitate healing. Ugh! I was scared. I was really scared. Not able to do yoga, I used all my mindfulness meditation tools and techniques to calm my thoughts. Continue reading

In Praise of The New “RBG” Documentary

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer women

Give me an R!

Give me a B!

Give me a G!

What does that spell?

“RBG,” the title of the new documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

This documentary is a must see for every woman. I feel honored to have gone to the same alma mater, Cornell University, as Justice Ginsburg. She is truly “Notorious RBG” as the younger feminists call her.

At 84 years old, having survived two bouts of cancer (colon and pancreatic), she is still sharp and strong. She even has a personal trainer. If you want to practice her workout routine, there’s a book about it.

RBG Documentary

Justice Ginsburg mid workout routine in RBG, a Magnolia Pictures release. Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

I had an opportunity to screen the new “RBG” documentary this week. I was captured from the first five minutes and stayed up past midnight to watch the entire film. (Note if you cannot see the trailer below click on this link.)

It’s amazing how much we take for granted regarding today’s women’s rights. It wasn’t always that way – from getting a credit card to getting a loan – a man’s signature was required in the early 70s. As A.O. Scott wrote in his The New York Times review, “The idea that women are equal citizens – that barring them from certain jobs and educational opportunities and treating them as the social inferiors of men are unfair – may not seem especially controversial now. “RBG” uses Justice Ginsburg’s own experiences to emphasize how different things weren’t so long ago.” Continue reading